Sept. 11, 2014 By Jack Jodell.
Some years ago in this blog I outlined a great many reasons why I can NOT, in good conscience, ever be a Republican. That was even before the reactionary, government-hating Tea Party hijacked the Republican Party and succeeded in pushing it ever further rightward, completely off of any pragmatic political table. As I recently began reassessing a number of current political and economic issues, it became apparent that the only kind of public servants worth supporting these days are true, bona-fide PROGRESSIVES. That, of course, eliminates ALL Tea Party candidates, Tea Party-infested reactionary Republicans, conservative Republicans, Libertarians, wimpy “blue dog” Democrats, and bought-out, corrupted Wall Street corporatist Democrats. In essence, it eliminates every politician whose primary concern is not what will best benefit the American public as a whole, but rather the betterment of special interests, the wealthiest 1%, greedy corporations, the vastly overbloated military / industrial complex, and the paranoid, warmongering neocon crowd which dominates our National Security Agency (as well as our CIA and foreign policy). In my last segment, I covered GLOBAL WARMING, WEALTH DISPARITY, and ENVIRONMENTALISM as some of the areas I believe need our immediate attention. In this segment, I will present three more below, starting with:
4). PUTTING AN END TO PERPETUAL WARFARE – Ever since the unwarranted 9/11/01 attacks by al Qaeda terrorists on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the far-right, neocon faction of the Republican Party (led by then-Vice President DICK Cheney and Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham) have pushed for war whenever possible. Whereas this nation had previously only gone to war as a final measure, these warmongers began advovating preemptive military strikes. DICK and his cronies in the Bush White House even permitted the use of torture (waterboarding) as a justified practice for obtaining information from enemy combatants, something their predecessors had decried as torture and had even hung Japanese officials for following World War II. Beginning with Afghanistan and continuing to this day, our foreign policy has been dominated by war or the threat of war. The military / industrial complex which President Eisenhower warned us about way back in 1961 has mushroomed into a dominant part of our industry and even our culture, and that is NOT good, nor is it completely justified. Paranoid, trigger-happy neocons abound all throughout our government, (especially in our CIA and National Security Agency) and push for the deployment of U.S. troops worldwide, at the slightest perceived threat. Such craziness used to be called imperialism, but is now commonly accepted as a new norm. The insane NSA, through its shadowy cousin the Department of Homeland Security, has even pressured Major League sports teams to install metal detectors at their stadiums, a full 13 years after the 9/11 attacks occurred – how ludicrous is THAT? We Progressives see this as a case of severe overreaction and also as a direct assault on our civil liberties, and we advocate its complete halt! For the U.S. has no right to be the self-appointed policeman of the entire world, and its actions actually encourage and promote terrorism throughout the world. ENOUGH of this nonsense, we say!
5). GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS! – 2010 was a bleak year for our democracy. It saw the rise of a manufactured, completely fabricated “movement” known as the Tea Party erupt like a painful blister on our body politic. This “movement” was funded by Libertarian, government-hating billionaires who preyed on the fears of the elderly as well as the chronically angry and not-so-bright, and deliberately courted cynical, low-information voters and turned this into a force which hijacked the Republican Party and won back the House od Representatives for them. With loud-mouthed, self-centered, narcissistic
lamebrains like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann at its helm, this poor excuse for a political party purged the GOP of all its moderates and turned it into a reacyionary mockery of what a conservative party should be. Obstruction off all but the most blatantly oeo-corporate bills became the norm and the federal government was shut down needlessly as extremist Tea Party crackpots like smug Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas flexed his political muscle in a ridiculous show of force, which, incidentally, accomplished absolutely NOTHING. The nation’s highest court, the EXTREME Court, made perhaps the worst decision in its entire history with its preposterous Citizens United decision. This little lump of sooty coal forbade government from restricting the amount billionaires can contribute to political campaigns, saying, in effect, that “money is free speech” and can’t be restricted, period. Well, any 3 year old can tell you that money is NOT free speech, and that the pouring in of unrestricted amounts of cash by billionaires completely defeats and is contrary to the notion of “one man, one vote” which has been a mainstay of our republic since its earliest days. It gives grossly unfair advantage in elections to candidates supported and/or sponsored by nefarious, government-hating billionaires like the snide, sourpussed Sheldon Adelson and the sneaky Libertarian Koch brothers, who never saw a regulation they didn’t hate or a form of pollution or economic exploitation they didn’t want to protect. People like this should NEVER be permitted to sway elections using their money to flood the airwaves with political ads! To counter this insanity, I would strongly urge ALL voters to visit and support a great for-the-majority-of-the-people website called MOVE TO AMEND.ORG (https://movetoamend.org)!
6). GUN SAFETY – Our very conservative, overly activist EXTREME Court has twice in recent years attempted to irreversibly alter our Second Amendment to conform to the wishes of paranoids like Wayne LaPierre, chief spokesman and lobbyist for the National Rifle Association. What was originally the right of all citizens to bear arms in a well-regulated militia has now slyly been changed to the right of all citizens to bear arms – individually – without question and without restriction. The decisions The District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. Chicago in 2010 attempted to overturn earlier, more practical and true decisions like 1939’s United States v. Miller. This perverse and deliberate misinterpretation and misapplication of that Amendment has led directly to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people – even children – in the pastfew years, and there is just no excuse for this whatsoever! In the past two or three years alone, we have witnessed one senseless shooting after another, from Congressperson Gabby Giffords’ near-fatal shooting to the cold and cruel MURDER of 20 young first-graders at Christmastime in Newtown, CT to the massacre at Columbine to thousands upon thousands of other victims before and since. The NRA has successfully brainwashed the public into thinking they are not safe unless each and every citizen is carrying a loaded handgun and that it is an individual’s God-given right to own these guns – how utterly pathetic, untrue, and absurd! Along with the military / industrial complex, which has turned the United States into the arms merchant for the entire planet, the NRA and the weapons manufacturers who support it have made the country the most gun-crazy nation on earth. Our citizens own FAR more guns per capita than any other nation in the history of the world, and that is NOT a statistic to be proud of! As a true progressive, I support the right of a hunter to own his or her own rifle, or an individual to own a pistol for their own protection, but those incidences of ownership MUST be licensed by the government, and be applicable only to adults, after a thorough background check. I do NOT support the right of ANYONE (except for the police or the military) to own semi-automatic or automatic weapons, or military assault weapons. Those found to be carrying illegal or unlicensed weapons should face long prison terms, without parole. The incidences of ganf shooting and indiscriminate murder via cheap, unrestricted handguns MUST come to a screeching halt! There is no place in a civilized society for cheap, easy to obtain illegal firearms!
7). NET NEUTRALITY – There is a push being made by huge multinational mass media corporations and internet providers like Verizon and others to increase their control over the internet. This would result in the imposition of user fees to access certain websites and/or would guarantee quicker access to corporate-owned or favored sites but a much slower access rate to other, non-favored sites. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE INTERNET REMAIN AS FREE AS IT IS TODAY, FREE OF CORPORATE CONTROL!!! As I write, the Federal Communications Commission – the FCC – (which regulates internet access) is preparing to rule on whether or not to allow such a two-tiered system. Tom Wheeler, an Obama appointee who heads the FCC, has a long background in the communications industry. We must flood his office with phone calls, letters, and emails demanding that our internet access remain as it is now – fully FREE, easily and equally accessible to ALL of us – WE the PEOPLE!!! He can be accessed at either his personal official line of 202-418-1000; the customer service line of 1-888-225-5322, or by contacting him at http://www.fcc.gov/leadership/tom-wheeler-mail. CONTACT HIM TODAY!!!
IN THE NEXT SEGMENT (COMING SOON): TAX EVADERS, HOW TO SPOT NON-PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATES BY THEIR JARGON, and more!